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One holiday dish that seems to give many home cooks nightmares is cornbread dressing. From it being dry and crumbly to lacking flavor, this dish pulls in the sweetness of cranberry and spiciness of jalapeno to deliver a rich and moist dressing. It can be served as a stand alone side dish or for a heightened gastronomic experience, it is stuffed inside of small Cornish hens and roasted to perfection.

Cranberry & Jalapeno Cornbread Dressing v2

Cranberry & Jalapeno Cornbread Dressing

By: Chef Judson Todd Allen

Serves – 6
Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cook Time – 1 hour 15 minutes minutes


Helpful Tips
Cooking Instructions
  • Tip 1 – Instead of using a broth, work with a rich chicken or vegetable stock to bring moisture into your cornbread dressing. Simply put – It tastes better.

    Tip 2
    – Take the flavor experience to a new level, by adding elements of surprise to your dressing like jalapeno for spice, cranberry for sweetness or even sausage and mushrooms for savory notes.

    Tip 3 – Sautee your vegetables (onions, celery, peppers) in olive oil, spices, dry wine and fresh herbs to soften and then transfer them to the bread mixture. This heightens flavor and adds moisture to the dressing.

  • Cornbread Ingredients

    2 cups – flour

    1 cup – cornmeal

    2 tablespoons – baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon – sea salt

    1/2 cup – sugar

    2 sticks – butter, melted

    1 ¼ cup – buttermilk

    2 eggs

    Dressings Ingredients


    2 cups – seasoned croutons

    1 medium – yellow onion, diced

    3/4 cup – celery, diced

    1/4 cup – Jalapeno pepper

    3/4 cup – red bell pepper

    1/2 cup – dried cranberries

    4-5 cups – chicken stock

    4 – eggs, beaten

    1/4 cup – dry white wine

    3 tablespoons – olive oil

    1 teaspoon – sage

    1 teaspoon – garlic, minced

    1 teaspoon – thyme

    1 teaspoon – poultry seasoning

    1 teaspoon – black pepper

  • To prepare cornbread, preheat oven to 375 degree.

    Melt butter in a small pot. In a mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients. While stirring, add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Stir until all lumps are gone. You should have a pancake batter like consistency.

    Pour batter into an oiled cast iron skillet or baking dish.

    To prepare dressing, add oil to a large saute pan. Add onions, garlic, celery and red peppers and wine; cook over medium heat until tender, about 7 minutes.

    In a large bowl, crumble cornbread and add croutons, vegetable mixture, thyme, sage, poultry seasoning, black pepper, jalapenos and cranberries. Add stock and eggs and stir until well combined.

    Transfer dressing to an oiled casserole dish and bake until golden on top and cooked through.